It’s Faithfulness Friday time again! Could you use a fresh examination of God’s faithfulness in this current quarantine season? Are you still practicing physical distancing?
The social aspect of distancing (or not) is handled through various social media outlets. Do you spend time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.? No distancing there!
Just as with our church, yours is probably reaching out in new ways for on-line sermons and gatherings through video, Facebook Live, and/or Zoom sessions. It’s been a lot of fun getting together in new ways, and it’s certainly better than nothing. Even a screen view of our friends is better than no view at all.
We say we want to get back to normal, but will we ever be the same as in the past? Are you prepared for a new normal? I’m convinced God is using this time to show us the benefits of changing our ways in some very positive ways. Ways we possibly should remember. Ways for focus correction. The Lord is faithful to draw us to Himself!
Let’s examine another view of the Lord’s faithfulness through scripture, our normal practice for Faithfulness Fridays.
In 2 Kings, chapters 12, we see God’s Temple in disrepair. It was built to provide a place for God’s people to gather, to make sacrifices and worship Him. Don’t we all look forward to gathering with our church family again? (Yes!)
God’s people had become complacent, and the Lord’s Temple didn’t matter to them like before. Their worship of idols took over all normalcy of life.
Over the years, Israel’s Temple had been neglected and was in need of repair. God’s people had lost their focus.
So King Joash called for Jehoiada and the other priests and asked them, “Why haven’t you repaired the Temple? Don’t use any more gifts for your own needs. From now on, it must all be spent on getting the Temple into good condition.”
2 Kings 12:7
When I read that verse, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 6:19.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”
Since our body is God’s temple in us, we should take care of it – and our mind and spirit. Are you caring for your mind, spirit, and body – your temple where the Lord resides?
Are you feeding God’s Word into your mind, soaking your soul with Him, which repairs neglected spaces in the holiest areas of your temple?
I’ve been reading Jen Wilkin’s perspective on Bible study in her book, Women of the Word. (So good, y’all.) We can place importance on Bible study that does little good, really.
Before I ordered Jen’s book, God was already revealing the fact that the many topical studies I’ve done over the years were beneficial in some ways (especially the social aspect of meeting with other Christian women who had young children at home and needed a break). But I can hardly tell you what I learned in many of those studies. Admittedly, part of that is from memory loss, but why didn’t it stick better?
The study that has done me the most good has been reading through the Bible every single year. Please don’t see this as a feather in my cap. I don’t advertise that fact because even that can be deceiving. What if I did the Bible reading simply to check a box? What if the Holy Spirit wasn’t involved and “in it” with me?
What if I placed that “task” each day above other things God had assigned for me? What then?
What if my plate is over-filled with other “good” things, Biblical things, even “churchy” things, and my mind was so disjointed in it all that, in my effort to do it all, I was actually renewing my mind with busyness? What if nothing really impactful was getting in and creating real change?
2 Kings, chapter 12 shows how Joash (aka Jehoash) had a lockable chest built to hold the money for Temple repairs. Its protection against corruption spoke to the human tendency for miss-use of resources, to sin. Just as idols took their hearts away from the Lord, we are subject to the same.
Our rebellious hearts can take us on wrong pathways – away from proper care of God’s temple, including our church buildings as well as inside ourselves. Restoring our temple places a new normal upon healthy living, encompassing all aspects of healthy living. Physically, mentally, spiritually.
A few years ago, I made a point to stop all the extras that others said I “should” do – the apps (you know the ones), the email and YouTube subscriptions, the continual distractions that take us away from what is truly most important. It was hard, and I felt I was hurting feelings of friends I wanted to support. God blessed my efforts to create margin and made it easier to focus where He wanted my focus to land. On Him.
Possibly that is the social distancing we need – distancing on social media. It allows time with the Lord for proper perspective. Devotion again. Abandoning idols. Restoring a true normal with God.
What locks are in place to protect God’s treasure inside you? Are you spending time with Jesus, the carpenter? Do you let Him carve you into His design?
Because He lives~